England seal Ashes triumph

2013-08-12 21:15
England cricket team (AFP)

Chester-le-Street - Stuart Broad has bowled England to a stunning 74-run fourth Test win over Australia with more than a day to spare as they took an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match Ashes series.

Australia, set 299 to win on Monday's fourth day at Chester-le-Street, were well-placed at 168 for two but slumped to 224 all out as paceman Broad took six wickets for 50 runs for a Test-best match haul of 11 for 121.

The victory meant England, who had already retained the Ashes, had won three successive Test series against Australia for the first time since the 1950s.

Australia, looking for their first win in eight Tests, lost five wickets for 13 runs as 168 for two was transformed into 181 for seven.

Man-of-the-match Broad, who had taken five first-innings wickets, enjoyed a purple patch of six wickets for 20 runs in 45 balls, with Tim Bresnan taking two for eight in 24.

At tea, Australia were 120 for one before nine wickets fell in a sensational final session.

"I was glad I could contribute," said Broad at the presentation ceremony.

"The wicket suited my style of bowling and I found a slightly fuller length," added Broad, the son of Ashes-winning former England batsman Chris.

England captain Alastair Cook was stunned by the turn of events.

"At tea we still had a lot of wickets to get. I didn't expect us to be stood here at 8pm (1900GMT) having won the Ashes."

A bowler who can blow hot and cold, Broad at his best is as tough to face as anyone currently in world cricket and Cook added: "Stuart Broad was incredible -- he bowled some jaffas (unplayable deliveries) out there.

"When he clicks he's got everything -- pace, movement and control. When those three click it is hard to face."

David Warner and fellow left-hander Chris Rogers gave Australia a solid platform with an opening stand of 109 before first-innings century-maker Rogers edged off-spinner Graeme Swann to Jonathan Trott at slip on 49.

And from then on it was largely one-way traffic with Australia captain Michael Clarke saddened his side's batsmen couldn't back up the efforts of fast bowler Ryan Harris, who earlier Monday took a Test-best seven for 117.

"We got outplayed, Stuart Broad bowled a couple of outstanding spells and as soon as we lost Chris Rogers we found it difficult," Clarke said.

"We've got to play better than that -- Chris and Davey (Warner) played exceptionally well but we couldn't get over the line.

"Our bowlers have done a fantastic job throughout this series, Ryan Harris was outstanding and I feel really disappointed that I've let him down."

Warner, who missed the first two Tests of the series, both of which Australia lost, after being banned for punching home batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar in June, looked in fine touch while making a 74-ball half-century that included a six off Swann.

But on 71, he was drawn forward to a Bresnan ball angled across him, and edged it to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Broad then dismissed Clarke for 21 with a superb delivery that came into the star batsman and clipped the top of off stump, before getting Steven Smith to play on after bottom-edging a hook.

Shane Watson, like Smith, was out for two as he fell in familiar fashion, lbw playing across his front pad, to Bresnan.

The collapse continued as Brad Haddin was lbw to Broad for four, despite reviewing the decision.

And when Broad had Harris lbw, Australia were exactly 100 runs shy of victory with two wickets standing.

Broad bowled Nathan Lyon for eight and, after England took the extra half-hour, he ended the first Ashes match at Durham's headquarters by having Peter Siddle hole out to James Anderson at mid-off.

England, who resumed Monday on 234 for five, made 330 all out in their second innings.

Although Ian Bell could only add eight to his overnight 105 -- none of his 20 Test hundreds has come in a losing cause (14 wins and six draws) -- England's total was bolstered by Bresnan (45) and Swann (30 not out).

The fifth and final Test starts at The Oval in south London on August 21.

Brief scores:

England: 238 (A Cook 51; N Lyon 4-42) and 330 (I Bell 113, R Harris 7-117, N Lyon 3-55)

Australia: 270 (C Rogers 110, S Watson 68; S Broad 5-71) and 224 (D Warner 71; S Broad 6-50)

Result: England won by 74 runs

Series: England lead five-match series 3-0


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